Does heaven turn? Does the earth sit still? Do sun and moon compete for a place to shine? Who masterminds all this? Who pulls the strings? Who, resting inactive himself, gives the push that makes it go this way? I wonder, is there some mechanism that works it and won't let it stop? I wonder if it just rolls and turns and can't bring itself to a halt? Do the clouds make the rain, or does the rain make the clouds? Who puffs them up, who showers them down like this? Who, resting inactive himself, stirs up all this lascivious joy? The winds rise in the north, blowing now west, now east, whirling up to wander on high. Whose breaths and exhalations are they? Who, resting inactive himself, huffs and puffs them about like this?These are some of the questions humankind has asked since the beginning. From the earliest creature capable of such thought to the present day, we ponder these questions. We craft stories and theories that pretend to give answers, but all human-contrived stories and theories are just that: stories and theories. At the end of the day, these are questions without answers.
~ Burton Watson translation ~
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